You’d think in this day and age, people would realise it’s not all that socially acceptable to yell out crude, lewd and rude things to passers-by.
Never in my life have I felt the urge to yell out my car window to someone walking past, unless it was someone I actually knew, so I can’t quite fathom why there are many men (and women) out there that feel the need to voice their opinion to individuals who just really don’t want to hear it.
You probably know what I’m talking about – it could be the group of teenagers piled into a car, the workmen across the street, the people driving around at random hours of the night. I’m not trying to gender stereotype here, but from a female perspective it can make it really annoying and awkward to always have to be wary about your walk home or the route of your run, clearly because in a shocking twist, you’re not in the mood to be objectified wherever you go by horny, bored or ‘I think I am so funny’ males….
Condescending Wonka knows what’s up.
When I exercise (which definitely isn’t as often as I should) I tend to run the same route along the beach. Nice view, good running path, there’s not much else I could ask for. Actually there is. I actually can’t remember the last time I went on a run without at least one car full of testosterone beeping at me or calling out something highly original like ‘show us your tits!’ I can’t think of a time I’d ever find it socially acceptable to harass males on their everyday business by yelling out ‘Hey you! Show me your dick!’
The other night I was out with some friends, and my housemates and I decided to walk home. As we crossed the road at some lights, a car with a couple males pulled up across the road and started yelling things to get our attention. We ignored them, and then things started to get a bit nasty. ‘YOUSE ARE BITCHES,’ one highly intellectual passenger called out. It got so annoying that at some stage one housemate yelled at them to fuck off, which they didn’t like too much judging by their next comment of ‘Hey you, the girl in the sombrero!* You’re fat!’ and then the heroes sped off into the night. My housemate is in not way even close to being overweight and hey even if she was, it’s not up to anyone to tell her from a car window. And using fat as an insult to deem her as undesirable in itself is pathetic – 2 minutes previously you would have loved if she had indeed flashed you, or reciprocated to your creepy comments.
While I don’t advocate walking home alone at night, there are some situations where it does happen and it really worries me how many males in cars will still yell out innuendos or crude comments to girls in this kind of situation. I’ve had another friend walk home from the train station at night, and had a car circle the round-a-bout numerous times just so the driver could yell out sexual remarks to her. She was obviously already in a vulnerable position, and whether the guy/s in the car were having a laugh or not, I don’t think it takes Einstein to realise shouting out lewd things to a girl on her own, is not okay.
It’s a form of harassment and it actually baffles me how many guys still do it, and I don’t actually understand why in the slightest. Is it a testosterone thing? ‘Hey guys, let’s play a game tonight of who can make the creepiest comment to a couple girls walking home!’ Sounds like an absolute blast. And like wow, you must have a really big dick.
Before I mentioned I didn’t want to gender stereotype, and I know girls can be the ones shouting things out of cars too, whether it be to male or females. I was walking with a friend one night and a girl leaned out the window yelling ‘sluuuuuuts!’ and squirted what we lated deduced was vodka at us. Apart from being an absolute ‘what the fuck is wrong with humanity moment’ it was also a moment when I wondered why would you waste such precious vodka?
What about you? Have you ever felt victimised or harassed when walking to a desination?
*Note: I’m not actually entirely sure why my housemate was wearing a sombrero.
IMAGE CREDIT: Ryan McGinley - this was also used as the cover image for a wonderful book on photography called ‘Photography after Frank’.
Read the original piece from Warhol's Children here.